The other day I had a conversation with a close friend and the topic of conversation came up of whether you ever move on from your ex. Not the ex that was a dirtbag but the exes that you have that you really cared about. I told her in summary that you really don’t move on from that experience what you do is you accept that you are no longer together.

That doesn’t mean that you always hope that you get back together one day. What it means is that when you care about someone you don’t lose those feelings. You can’t move past it all you can do is accept the circumstance. There’s growth in that realization. That’s the growth that you need to be able to encounter new people and accept the challenge that comes with a new mate.

I think at times we’re so obsessed with moving on that we haven’t figured out that moving on is not required. What you should want to take away from a situation is that you learned something about yourself and about that relationship. You may have learned what you like in a significant other or what you don’t like but you’re willing to tolerate.

I’ll always tell people that I will never regret about 99% of the people I’ve dated because if I did I would have to conclude that I don’t know how to pick them. What I know is that I have tried and sometimes it didn’t work out. I didn’t move on; treating each relationship in my life like a ball game doesn’t sound right. I take all that with me as I move forward. Some people call it baggage and I don’t think it qualifies as baggage unless you only take away the negative. I take away all the positives that come with a relationship ending and the potential of a new one beginning.

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That’s important because failure is what scares us the most. It makes us stay in situations way too long and it sometimes relegates us in situations that we should never be a partied to. I have struggled with that myself in relationships, do I stay or do I leave? It’s a question that I grapple with all the time.

Some people may say the two are the same that accepting the fate of the relationship and moving on is the same thing but I don’t think they are the same. They may be cousins but they lack the same mental capacity. To me, it’s a difference between saying “I’m not meant to be with that person” and “I understand why it didn’t work out.” We talk a lot about exes and what we can do to move on. One thing that we don’t take time to think about is the good people that we’ve dated and reasons why you’d be better with someone else.

The best thing you can do in your dating history is to be able to look back and not feel ashamed of who you dated. It shows that you put the effort into the situation and gave it your all. If you want to feel ashamed of something then it should be about those people you didn’t give your all. Ironically, those are the majority of the people that some of you don’t think you’ve moved on from. It seems as though it’s always the people that you struggled to leave in your past that you’re forced to say you’ve moved on from. Maybe you should start asking yourself if you’re willing to accept they’re no longer in your life rather than continuing to struggle to “move on.” Food for thought?